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Oh'phelia (1919)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

Ophelia is digging in her garden. A dog starts digging beside her and she shoos it away. She attempts to attract the attention of a snail ("How perfectly sweet - you don't have to go house-hunting") but it's eaten by a bird.

Ophelia's sweetheart 'Amlet' appears, offering her violets, "pomatos and terpators". Ophelia is unmoved, so 'Amlet starts cutting her hair ("To bob or not to bob?"), which distresses her greatly. Undaunted, 'Amlet pumps some water into a bucket and threatens to shampoo her. Laertes, her cowboy brother, rushes to the rescue and sends 'Amlet' packing after producing his six-shooter.

'Amlet is summoned to explain his behaviour to the Queen in her kitchen, but his pet mouse escapes and bites her on the leg. She throws her rolling pin at him. Polonius is listening to the fracas behind a curtain before being surprised by 'Amlet's dog. 'Amlet kicks the bulge in the curtain, knocking Polonius over. Ophelia distributes her fruit and flowers to the court, inadvertently hitting the King on the foot. She is banished from the court and 'Amlet, in remorse, vows to join the Boy Scouts.

Attempting to pick a favourite flower, Ophelia falls into the river. Despite calling for help three times, no-one comes, and she is left to float helplessly downstream. Fortunately, she floats past 'Amlet, whose newly acquired first aid skills save the day, and they decide to get married ("Ophelia having come to, they decide to become one!"). The animator's hand signs his name over their tender embrace.